The Etowah County Sheriff’s Department has 62 employees in its criminal, civil, corrections, patrol, court house security and narcotics divisions. The City of Gadsden Police Department has 100 personnel in the following divisions: patrol, hit and run, crime against property, crime against persons, fugitive, juvenile, vice and narcotics, canine, crime prevention, school guards, animal control, field training, records and communications. Surrounding municipalities have police departments of varying sizes. The violent crime rate is 479.2 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Gadsden, Attalla and Rainbow City have full-time fire departments. Gadsden has a Class 3 fire insurance rating; Rainbow City and Attalla have a Class 5 rating. There are 24 volunteer fire departments throughout Etowah County.
The Gadsden Fire Department has 8 stations/engine companies, including 2 ladder/aerial trucks, 3 rescue units, a brush truck, a unit for hazmat/special operations/high-angle rescue, and a decontamination unit. The department’s 109 career firefighters include 44 Paramedics, 8 Intermediate EMTs, 29 Basic EMTs and 28 First Responders. The average response time for engine companies is 4.32 minutes and the average response time for rescue units is 4.56 minutes.
Other Emergency Services
The Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency has the responsibility of planning for emergencies. The EMA has provided hundreds of tone-alert radios to child-care centers, schools, churches, nursing homes and emergency responders. Severe weather warning sirens have been installed throughout the county.
Gadsden-Etowah EMS, Inc. and Rural Metro Ambulance are Advanced Life Support providers serving the Gadsden area. A LifeSaver helicopter ambulance is based here. And the Etowah County Rescue Squad has 40 members, nine vehicles, four Rescue One boats and a service boat.